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The Underwater Hunter

A weight belt. A pair of long fins. A snorkeling mask. A wetsuit. A spear gun that looks like an underwater crossbow. A strong set of lungs. A clear, calm day. A high tide. A steady arm. A day off from work. A little luck.

That, says Eric Lohela, is his recipe for a good day of free-dive spearfishing.

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Intern Spotlight: Kristin Van Abel

As part of a two-person sustainability team at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Kristin Van Abel is responsible for the entire campus sustainability program. A former CEC intern and Bren School of Environmental Science & Management graduate, she now provides strategic planning support for Caltech in all of the school’s sustainability initiatives—from climate and energy to water, transportation, and waste.
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The Creative Commuter

Last March, Kent Epperson bought a house in Ojai after months of fruitlessly searching for an affordable place in Santa Barbara. With that move, his short bike commute to his office near the intersection of Calle Real and North San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara abruptly changed to an hour and a half drive every day between the two cities.

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The Baby Boomer Bikers

Recently, Eva Inbar and her husband, Michael, purchased a set of road bikes. Avid cyclists, the two have been biking for decades, and they don’t have plans to quit anytime soon. No matter that they are in their late 60s.

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Modern Day Money Trees

Ten years ago, Stephen had realized that he could either continue to pay his power company for increasingly expensive electricity, or he could invest in solar. Once he recouped his initial outlay on the investment, he reasoned, he could bask in free electricity for the duration of the panels’ life — between 30 and 40 years.
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Who’s In Your Food Network?

For many people, the words ‘food network’ bring to mind faces of celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray, Guy Fieri, and Emeril Lagasse. When Alison Hensley, local food enthusiast and co-founder of the SOL Food Festival, hears those words, she sees a different set of faces.

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Reducing Plastic Through Refills #ditchplastic

For years, Peter Tatikian and his wife, Kelley Skumautz, have made a game out of avoiding buying single-use plastic bags. This has been especially interesting when it comes to picking up after their terrier/chihuahua mix, Ollie. It takes a little more creativity on every dog walk. “We have become very inventive in finding bags to pick up poop,” Peter says. This has included paper wrappers, tortilla chip bags, frozen vegetable packaging, and even the plastic mailing sleeves that magazines get mailed in.

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Free Solar Advice and Peace of Mind with Solarize

Who doesn’t dread that monthly moment of opening a mailbox or an inbox and finding a stack of bills waiting to be paid? Electricity bills, cable bills, phone bills, medical bills—like hungry young birds in a nest, they sit there silently peeping until their demands are met.

Ty Lewis, a city employee of Paso Robles, set out to eliminate or significantly reduce one of the more common ones in his pile: his electricity bill.

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A Conservative Embraces Driving on Sunshine

Aaron is not your typical “go green” kind of guy. He thinks that the country’s solar industry has been too heavily subsidized. And don’t get him started on climate change. None of that, however, stopped Aaron from installing solar panels on his home or purchasing a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Come again?
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E.P.A. Announces New Proposed Carbon Pollution Regulations

Today, with the announcement of new carbon regulations, the Obama administration is using authority granted to the E.P.A. by the Clean Air Act to tackle the U.S.’s largest source of carbon pollution: over 600 coal-burning power plants. The proposed regulations would seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from these power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

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Using Film and a Brompton Foldable Bike to Preserve the Planet

Most mornings, Beezhan Tulu hops on his bright green bike and rides down Highway 101 from his home on the Gaviota Coast to the most westerly bus stop in Goleta, where he folds up his bike, pays the $1.25 bus fare, and completes the last leg of his 20-mile trek into Santa Barbara. Beezhan, a local filmmaker, purposefully does not own a car, and his Day-Glo bike is his sole means of transportation.  

But that hasn’t always been the case. 

 

 

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The Electric Vehicle Ripple Effect

Nearly everyone who works at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital knows that if you’ve got questions about solar panels or electric vehicles, Dr. Timothy Rodgers probably has the answers. During the lunch hour, you can sometimes spot Timothy, a specialist in Internal Medicine, in the hospital’s cafeteria — and a couple times a week, he’s chatting with someone curious about green technologies.

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Ingenuity and Volunteerism at Earth Day

Fourteen-year-old Catalina Russell has grown up with Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival. Since before she can remember, her mom has been bringing her to the celebration that strives to inspire the community to protect and preserve the world we live in. Five years ago, when she was just nine years old, Catalina decided she wanted to do more than passively enjoy the festival. She signed up as a volunteer to help the event she had come to love – and she’s kept coming back to volunteer every year since.

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Commuting in “Kelleafy”

When Kelly Schmandt Ferguson took a job in Santa Ynez last year, commuting to work by bus was no longer an option for the Santa Barbara resident. Concerns over increased gas expenses and the environmental impacts of fossil fuel emissions as well as the desire to “support a technology that [she] believed in” led Kelly to research leasing an electric vehicle.

 

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Tesla: More Cost-Effective Than You Think?

Kenneth can drive between 24,000 and 30,000 miles in a year, nearly double the amount of the average driver, according to the Department of Transportation. Such heavy vehicle use — and gas —has consequences, as Kenneth realized. His mounting gas bill coupled with a growing realization of the repercussions of his CO2 emissions on the planet’s climate convinced him to look at purchasing an electric vehicle. Then, when an EV charging station was installed outside his office building, he took it as a sign. Transitioning to an EV, however, wasn’t without its bumps.
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